As a good liberal, I follow a lot of good liberal (and some leftist) people on Twitter and as a result my timeline is jampacked every day with ongoing chatter about cable news. And that leads me to say this: For the love of God, stop watching so much cable news.
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The problem I see here is not people just dipping a toe in and sampling a program or two (though even that is problematic), it is this widespread habit of watching cable news all day long. It is referring to cable news personalities on a first name basis so often that you say the names “Rachel,” “Ali,” “Brian,” “Jake,” like they’re members of your own family.
I have watched a ton of cable news. Far more than any sane person ever should. But the difference between myself and others who also watch cable news is that I was paid to do it. It is frankly hard for me, guy who was given cash to watch this stuff, to fathom why people are voluntarily watching so much of it.
“But,” you might reply, “I need to keep up with what’s going on. I can’t be ignorant and close myself off from the world.”
To which I say, great. We do need to be well-informed about events, whether it’s local, national, or international. We have to be informed to be good citizens.
The thing is, cable news sucks at informing people. It is a terrible venue for learning about the state of the world. Relying on cable news for serious information on a consistent basis is like trying to lose weight on a diet of cotton candy, hamburgers, and ice cream.
There is an occasional nugget of legitimate journalism on cable news. It happens less and less frequently than it used to, but it happens. The problem is those nuggets are surrounded by gigantic piles of visual excrement. Cable news largely consists of people shouting at each other about things or shouting at the audience about things and then repeating the shouting about the same damn topic every thirty minutes.
The actual “news” content is very low. You aren’t being informed when you watch cable news and in my opinion you’re barely being entertained.
In my opinion if you pulled the feeds for the major news outlets together, looked to see what is in the news of the day and then tuned your television to a marathon of the Kardashians, you’d be way more informed than your all day habit of cable news.
This is not an argument that all cable news channels are of equal societal rot. Fox News is a right wing propaganda network designed to elect Republicans with lies, misogyny, racism, bigotry, and deception. They don’t practice anything resembling journalism at Fox News.
But the entirety of American cable news, which includes MSNBC and CNN as well as Fox News, is still an institution that does a poor job of consistently informing the public.
I’m not sitting in an ivory tower telling you to throw out your TV. I’m a man who watches the regular idiocy that is professional wrestling, for God’s sake. But I am begging you to stop watching cable news, for your own mental health and satisfaction, but also for our collective good.
Exclusive Kal-El Photo
When I’m working in my office, the good boy usually snuggles in behind me, and a lot of the time he works his way down my back and onto the chair. Instead of giving him a hard time about stealing my seat, I reward him with a head rub. Because he is a good boy.
For an article complaining that no information is really being provided, the article itself didn’t provide much. For all its length you might as will just have written “Cable news sucks. End of story.”
I don’t disagree with the sentiment. But I would like to see bit more substance on why/how it sucks. And, by contrast, if cable news is such a bad source then what would be a good one? You acknowledge it is good to stay informed the world. If you believe cable news is not a good source for that (again, I agree) what do you believe is?
I’ve almost completely eradicated my nightly Rachel watching, which honestly I watched as much for her snark as anything. I haven’t landed on a consistent source for actual news in its place. Does Kal-el have any suggestions? Or you. That’d be fine too.